Inter- And Intra-Family Differences in Generational Proximity in the United States and Japan

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Park, KeongSuk

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Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
Development and Society, Vol.30 No.1, pp. 143-170
The United States and Japan show a significant difference in their patterns of generational proximity. In 1993, half of U.S. non-Hispanic white parents aged 70 or over lived separately but within 10 miles of their nearest children and a majority of them lived far from their non-nearest children. The family geographic network for Japanese elderly parents is more hierarchical. In 1989, 74 percent of Japanese parents aged 70 and over lived with their nearest children but most of them lived far from their non-nearest children. To explain this distinctive pattern of inter- and intra-family generational proximities in these two societies, I employ a multi-level analysis which compares the net effects of life course conditions of elderly parents and their children, and economic and ecological characteristics of elderly parents' places of residence on generational proximities. For this multi-level analysis, I use the 1993 Asset and Heath Dynamics among the Oldest Old in the U.S. and the 1989 Second Demographic Survey on Changes in Family Life Course and Household Structures in Japan and the aggregate level data for economic and ecological statistics of U.S. states and Japanese prefectures. This multi-level analysis also accounts for intra-family differences in parent-child proximities employing a within-family variance model.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소)Development and Society Development and Society Vol.30 No.1/2 (2001)
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